Monday, April 21, 2008


I've been meditating on the idea of faith lately...

The first event that brought this to my mind was the wedding Friday night. I was struck by the idea that people who marry each other do so without having any idea what they're promising. This couple in particular KNOWS certain parts of their life together may be hard. But, there are other parts that become hard in the course of life, and no one can see them coming. Watching them eagerly promise to try to out-serve one another for the rest of their lives was so striking to me. Do they have any idea what they're getting themselves into? No, and that's the best part about it!

While it's temping for some to call this naiveté, Jesus called it childlike faith - the kind that doesn't understand it all, but follows anyway. Marriage can only be done (if you really promise the rest of your life and intend to keep your promise) by faith.

Event number two is the current situation with my brother. If I may be very honest for a moment, my family is currently trying to help my brother out of a lifestyle of alcoholism, bitterness and anger. It is extremely painful. We love him! We want him to be happy and healthy. But people can always hurt most the people that love them the most. And he has. As I put my little girls to bed tonight, I can't help but look at their innocent faces and wonder... Could they someday reject Nick and I? Will they always love singing worship songs with open hearts and dancing? My brother is an angry man now, but once he was a cuddly, playful, fun little boy.

The only answer I have for this is faith - by faith we live each day, believing that God will work His purposes in the earth and that He will give us the strength for whatever life may bring. 1 Tim 1:4 says God's work is by faith. That means it is not by effort, as if I could be a perfect mom and therefore prevent my children from rebelling someday. It is not by fear, as if we should just not have children because they may hurt us one day. Nor is it by pride, saying "my children would never do something like that." The fact is, they could, just like all of us are free to make stupid decisions. Faith is the only answer. We do what we can and believe God for the outcome and the strength.

From an essay by C.S. Lewis called Religion: Reality or Substitute?:

"If we wish to be rational, not now and then, but constantly, we must pray for the gift of Faith, for the power to go on believing not in the teeth of reason but in the teeth of lust and terror and jealousy and boredom and indifference that which reason, authority, or experience, or all three, have once delivered to us for truth. And the answer to that prayer will, perhaps, surprise us when it comes. For I am not sure, after all, whether one of the causes of our weak faith is not a secret wish that our faith should NOT be very strong. Is there some reservation in our minds? Some fear of what it might be like if our religion became QUITE real? I hope not. God help us all, and forgive us."

1 comment:

  1. I am so sorry about your brother. That is so hard. It makes me sad to think that sometimes you can do everything as right as you possibly can as a parent, and still your kids may choose a destructive path. You're right about the faith thing, I think all we can do is pray and believe, and not let doubt or fear control us. I pray your parents know that the seeds of faith they have planted in your brother will not be wasted, as God says His word will never return void, and He will still be pursuing your brother. Thanks for being so open on your blog, I love that!